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Old 07-15-07, 08:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
It seems one reason why Rasmussen got such a lead was that a bunch of the GC candidates didn't wind up working together.

My guess is they will try to shut Rasmussen down if he takes off like that again. Considering his climbing skills (and less than stellar TTing), it would be a minor tactical error to let him get into any more breakaways.
Keep in mind that this guy is 20lbs lighter than humans.... so its pretty much like the field was trying to ride a walmart MTB up these hills compared to him.

He's not going to get any help on stages, but that doesn't mean anyone can stop him. The field can't draft off him up 8% grades anymore than he can keep up in a TT. So there's no tactical choice involved. I'm sure all the contenders rode as hard as they could today.
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Old 07-15-07, 09:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by serpico7
Seems to me that Rasmussen was allowed to gain such a lead because the GC contenders don't view him as a serious threat. Now they will be forced to pay attention to his moves and limit his gains in the mountains. This is a ploy by Rabobank to help Menchov.
The GC can't be dismissing him outright because he's so consistently strong in the mountains. After his solo breakaway in '05, he stayed with Armstrong through just about every other mountain stage when others were dropping away, and if not for his time trial undoing, he'd have been much closer to the podium. But, the other GC contenders also can't afford to focus too much of their strategy around him because the all-arounders still pose bigger threats.
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Old 07-15-07, 09:55 PM   #28
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^^ he would have been ON the podium, in third most likely.
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Old 07-15-07, 11:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by dagna
I read somewhere that "The Chicken" was incorrect, as the nickname "Chicken" came from a fictional character called simply Chicken. I seem to remember it was a children's cartoon, comic, or bedtime book? But, if you're from Denmark I guess you'd know.
Holy crap! I stand corrected! According to wikipedia, which is never wrong, it's either one. However, every article I have seen about him always writes "kyllingen" which means "the chicken", but wikipedia says "or merely Chicken".

My apologies.

The name comes from the children's show "Bamse og Kylling" about a bear and a chicken. One of his former teammates was nick-named 'Bear', so he was dubbed 'Chicken'. Bjarne Riis was known as "Ýrnen fra Herning" -- "the eagle from Herning" -- which is why the long form includes his birthplace.
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Old 07-15-07, 11:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Also, he's failed to prove so far that 1) he can ride consistently day to day over 3 weeks without losing chunks of time,
He kept time just fine in 2005, losing a little to Armstrong and Basso, but otherwise OK. Yes?

Last year he lost chunks of time in the transition stages so that the GC'ers would let him go for the polka-dots. Yes?

I wonder if he can stay upright in the time trials...
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Old 07-16-07, 06:20 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Blaireau
12 minutes should be ample if Rasmussen can avoiding falling off his bike.... What was it? Three times?
No, you must have turned your head away from the screen.

Four.
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Old 07-16-07, 06:26 AM   #32
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The rest days splitting the four toughest climbs introduces a new dynamic we haven't seen with Rasmussen before-the potential to run off unchallenged on four killer climbs in one tour.

I don't believe the field can stay with him if he takes off-they can only limit his damage by trying to not let him pile up too many minutes. The rejuvinated Mayo may be the excepion if he can stay in the Chicken's slipstream.
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Old 07-16-07, 06:44 AM   #33
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Conventional wisdom says the Tour will be won in the Pyrenees. Other GC contenders are no doubt delighted that it's Rasmusen's team that will have to pull, chase and defend for a week.

TCS
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Old 07-16-07, 07:11 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcl8a
He kept time just fine in 2005, losing a little to Armstrong and Basso, but otherwise OK. Yes?

Last year he lost chunks of time in the transition stages so that the GC'ers would let him go for the polka-dots. Yes?

I wonder if he can stay upright in the time trials...
Rasmmussen didn't exactly ride a consistent TDF in 2005. He was down more than 5 minutes on GC before they hit the Mountains. Then gained 6 minutes on Armstrong and other GC contenders in the win on Stage 9, then lost over 7 minutes on the final TT (which is more time than even his crashes explain).

Admittedly last year, losing time on some transition stages was likely planned for KOM purposes. But I still don't think he's shown the ability to ride consistently through a 3 week tour.

And doing it with the Yellow Jersey on your back, as a legitimate GC contender is another level of challenge, than riding as a guy that people only think of for the KOM, with no obligation to control the race
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Old 07-16-07, 07:27 AM   #35
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You are right about him not showing he can pull it off for 3 weeks, but that goes for a lot of riders in the year's tour. Oscar hadn't shown he could either, but ended up second, and may be declared the winner.

Richard

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Rasmmussen didn't exactly ride a consistent TDF in 2005. He was down more than 5 minutes on GC before they hit the Mountains. Then gained 6 minutes on Armstrong and other GC contenders in the win on Stage 9, then lost over 7 minutes on the final TT (which is more time than even his crashes explain).

Admittedly last year, losing time on some transition stages was likely planned for KOM purposes. But I still don't think he's shown the ability to ride consistently through a 3 week tour.

And doing it with the Yellow Jersey on your back, as a legitimate GC contender is another level of challenge, than riding as a guy that people only think of for the KOM, with no obligation to control the race
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Old 07-16-07, 07:28 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Rasmmussen didn't exactly ride a consistent TDF in 2005. He was down more than 5 minutes on GC before they hit the Mountains. Then gained 6 minutes on Armstrong and other GC contenders in the win on Stage 9, then lost over 7 minutes on the final TT (which is more time than even his crashes explain).

Admittedly last year, losing time on some transition stages was likely planned for KOM purposes. But I still don't think he's shown the ability to ride consistently through a 3 week tour.

And doing it with the Yellow Jersey on your back, as a legitimate GC contender is another level of challenge, than riding as a guy that people only think of for the KOM, with no obligation to control the race
Last year's losses were more related to the work he did for Dennis.
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Old 07-16-07, 11:23 AM   #37
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I would love to see The Chicken win it all but he's going to need a serious time cushion and help from his team.

Speaking of climbers, Contador is looking very strong.
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Old 07-16-07, 11:29 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by tcs
Conventional wisdom says the Tour will be won in the Pyrenees. Other GC contenders are no doubt delighted that it's Rasmusen's team that will have to pull, chase and defend for a week.
Conventional wisdom does not apply to the 2007 Tour.
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Old 07-16-07, 12:45 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by 40 Cent
The GC can't be dismissing him outright because he's so consistently strong in the mountains. After his solo breakaway in '05, he stayed with Armstrong through just about every other mountain stage when others were dropping away, and if not for his time trial undoing, he'd have been much closer to the podium. But, the other GC contenders also can't afford to focus too much of their strategy around him because the all-arounders still pose bigger threats.
That the all-arounders are a bigger threat opens the door. If he were the biggest threat we could expect a blistering pace on the flats leading in to the mountians on a couple of stages. But we most likely won't see that unless he has another important time gain in the mountians.

Also if he has a lead coming out of the last of the mountians I'd expect some pretty nasty flat stages, esp if there are winds. There are ways to make mountian goats pay on the flats. It has just been a while since they have been used, but I'll bet the various D.S.s know many more ways to gain back time than any of us do.
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